The last Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft, has rolled off the production line in France, in the middle of a journey of the industry has been devastated by the sars coronavirus pandemic.
Premature end of its production was announced last year, following a fall of its sales for the four-engined plane with only 14 years after its entry into service.
The last shipment of parts to build the superjumbo A380 crawled towards an assembly plant in the south-west of France, to the ecstatic applause of the local population and the workers.
Trucks carried three fuselage sections as they squeezed through the rural village of Levignac on their way to Toulouse, where the final version of the superjumbo will be assembled before the model ends production in 2021.
The last convoy of the Airbus A380 MSN 272, on its way to be delivered to Emirates, expected to l’isle-Jourdain
In spite of the judgment at the beginning of the production, the executives argued that without the A380, Airbus would not have been able to knit a consortium of France, Germany, great Britain and Spain into a single European entity. The truck shows the sign ” Goodbye, Saint-Nazaire,’ the French name of the plant, where some sections are pre-assembled
“He has made of the region, with all the villages around here and the people who built it. This is beautiful, ” said Christiane Inard, which has seen nearly 300 convoys creep past his living room since the first in 2004.
“It makes me sick to my stomach to see something stop just like that. It is difficult for the employment, for young people, ” she added.
A truck bore the sign ” au Revoir Saint-Nazaire,’ the French name of the plant, where some sections are pre-assembled.
“It was hard,” said Peggy Jounier, 41, who placed the red nose on the last section of facade at Saint-Nazaire.
The Airbus A380’s debut in the united states took place in 2007, when two aircraft (which is pictured above) arrived at LAX and airports of JFK
Airbus has bet billions on his vision of the 555-seat jets, when it launched its $10.7 billion in December 2000.
The first plane entered service with Singapore Airlines in October 2007, and production has peaked at around 30 per year in 2012 and 2014.
But the A380 has been progressively abandoned by the airlines as the demand increased for the cheaper, smaller jets such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.
Emirates, the aircraft’s largest operator, said in February last year, it has been reducing orders in favor of two smaller Airbus aircraft.
Airbus announced shortly after the production of the A380, that would be the end of 2021.
A sharp decline in demand for air travel due to the sars coronavirus crisis came at the same time that airlines including Lufthansa, Qantas and Air France retired the superjumbo jets.
Last month, Air France announced that it was permanently, with an additional reduction of nine in the land of the jets and the reduction of the remaining deliveries, a little more than a decade after becoming the first European airline to operate.
Trucks carried three fuselage sections as they squeezed through the rural village of Levignac on their way to Toulouse, where the final version of the superjumbo will be assembled before the model ends production in 2021
A statement from Benjamin Smith, the CEO of AirFrance-KLM, said: “The phase of the Airbus A380 fleet is part of the Air France-KLM Group fleet simplification strategy of making the fleet more competitive, continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircraft with a significant reduction of the environmental footprint.’
In spite of the judgment at the beginning of the production, the executives argued that without the A380, Airbus would not have been able to knit a consortium of France, Germany, great Britain and Spain into a single European entity.
Airbus has yet to record orders for small jets, Europe’s aerospace capital is grappling with the broader pressure of work due to the coronavirus crisis.
A380 industrial problems forced Airbus to learn the hard lessons, which has helped the company built the A350 largely on time, with a few hiccups.
“This is an aircraft that brought all four European partners together, and has been an accelerator of Airbus,” said the director of programmes Philippe Mhun.
“We are all convinced that Airbus would not be what it is today without the A380.’